Champagne Saint-Chamant Blanc de Blancs
Épernay, Champagne, France 2008
Champagne Saint-Chamant was established in 1930 by Pierre and Hélène Coquillette and their son, Christian, took over the estate in 1950. Now in his eighties, Christian epitomizes old school charm and class in everything that he does and has passed that sensibility on to his son Stéphane. The Saint-Chamant cellar remains almost completed hidden from view and without signage, yet it stretches for a full mile underground and holds hundreds of thousands of library bottles resting quietly, undisturbed. Basically, heaven. But his winemaking style also reflects a mostly bygone era of Champagne. To experience it now reminds me just how uniquely outstanding these wines are and how they helped shape the entire wine world because of it.
This Champagne is voluptuous, bordering on hedonistic. Rich creme brulee (complete with the burnt sugar top), baked apple, tangerines and lemon glazed scones. The acid has not waned much as the finish is vibrant, but there are certainly complex tertiary notes on the mid palate that reveal the wines age. Ten years resting in a bottle on its lees has developed a fabulous textural depth.
Fine Details – 100% Chardonnay from Grand Cru vineyards in Chouilly. Sustainably farmed. Fermented in Stainless Steel and Enamel tanks for 9 months and then spent the last 10 years in bottle. Disgorged upon release. 5 grams per liter dosage.